Exodus chs. 30:11, 31, 33, 34 (21 February, 2019, 16 Adar-A, 5778)
The weekly portion of Exodus, "Ki Tisa," tells us about the Golden Bull Calf that the rebellious Israelites set up in the Wilderness. This was to serve as a Prototype for the two golden bull calves of the Ten Tribes. King Jeroboam of Ephraim had led a rebellion against the House of David. He established two gold calves for the Ten Tribes to worship, one in Dan and the other in Beit-El. This was in place of the worship of the One True God of Israel centered on the Temple in Jerusalem. The Ten Tribes in the West today are continuing in their rebellious ways.Â
The Weekly Portion, Parashat "Ki Tisa," Begins (in the Hebrew version) at Exodus 30:11, continues through chapters 31, 32, 33, 34.
We saw how:
The Israelites continued on their journey and came to the Mountain of Sinai where G-d appeared to all of them and gave them the Ten Commandments [Exodus 20:1-17]. The Ten Commandments are both specific injunctions as well as general categories that encompass all of the Law.Â Plans were given for how the Tabernacle was to be designed and built. This was to serve as a prototype for the future Temple.
Each IsraeliteÂ male had to contribute a half-shekel piece. This was to atone for the contributor. The money was to go towards maintaining the Tabernacle and public sacrifices (Exodus 30:11-15). Each year the giving of a half-shekel piece was to be repeated.
A special anointing oil was to be made. The Tabernacle vessels were to be anointed as well as the officiating Priests. Incense was to be made according to set formula. It was forbidden to make anointing oil or incense with the same formula as that used in the Tabernacle service.
Betsalel son of Uri son of Hur from the Tribe of Judah along with Oholiab son of Achisamach from the Tribe of Dan were appointed as master craftsmen overseeing the construction of the Tabernacle and everything it needed, the Holy Ark for the Tablets of the Ten Commandments, the large bronze altar, the smaller gold alter, the clothing of the Priests, the bronze wash-basin, the golden menorah, the curtains,Â etc. (Exodus 31:2-11).
The Israelites were commanded throughout their generations to work for six days and to rest on the Sabbath Day (Exodus 31:15-17).
The obligation to Keep the Sabbath only applies to Israelites were who recognized as such and are obligated by the Law. Non-Israelites or Israelites whose Israelite ancestry has not yet been conclusively confirmed are not to the keep the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is a sign of identification:
16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.
Â Moses went up alone to Mount Sinai [24:15] and communed with G-d for forty days. The people thought Moses had disappeared in the mountain [Exodus 32:1]. They created a golden bull calf [Exodus 32:4] whose initial purpose was to replace Moses and serve as an intermediary for communication with the Almighty. In the eyes of G-d this was idolatry and G-d was angry [Exodus 32:8-10]. Moses returned to the encampment and destroyed the idol. He led the Tribe of Levi in killing the ringleaders of the idolaters [Exodus 32:28], and ritually purified the people.Â
Centuries later 10 of the Israelite tribes were to separate from the Temple-based Kingdom of Judah and set up thier own polity known as "Israel," or "Esamaria," or "House of Joseph." or "Ephraim." Their first king was Jeroboam son of Nebat from the Tribe of Ephraim.
They too, were to worship the golden calf. Statues of golden calves were set up in the centers of Dan in the north and Beth-el in the south.
2-Kings (NIV) 12:
25 Then Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. From there he went out and built up Peniel.
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, 'The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David.
27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.'
28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, 'It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.'
29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan.
30 And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.
31 Jeroboam built shrines on high places and appointed priests from all sorts of people, even though they were not Levites.
32 He instituted a festival on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the festival held in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. This he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves he had made. And at Bethel he also installed priests at the high places he had made.
33 On the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a month of his own choosing, he offered sacrifices on the altar he had built at Bethel. So he instituted the festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to make offerings.
We see from this that the same pagan inclinations that led to the Golden Calf in the time of Moses continued to exist among the Hebrew peoples.
They were a factor in deepening the Division between Judah and the Ten Tribes.
Jeroboam of Ephraim King of the Ten Tribes used the golden calves to ensure that the Tribes would not re-unite.
Worship of the Golden Calves was a factor in deepening the Division between Judah and the Ten Tribes.
Non-Jews who consider themselves descended from the Ten Tribes need to:
Support efforts by Brit-Am to gather evidence and proof they are of Israelite descent.
The proofs need to be sufficient in their own right and also acceptable to others.
[We work to find evidence in the Bible and in Rabbinical sources as well as from Secular fields of study.]
Individuals who are already convinced they are descended from Israel need to consider the following options:
1. Identifying with the Jews and if possible converting to Judaism. Most will not to do this either for religious reasons or because it does not resonate with them.
2. To remain where they are BUT do what they can to spread the word, and convince others of this truth.
3. To support the State of Israel and the Jewish People.
Eventually the Ten Tribes will return. They will unite with Judah.
Before that happens knowledge of Israelite Ancestry will need to spread.
They who at present are aware of their Hebrew Ancestry need to support Brit-Am and its attempts to adduce additional Proof and bring the evidence to public knowledge.
The Almighty repeated his promise to give the Promised Land to Israel:
ExodusÂ (NIV) 33:
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 'Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants.' 2 I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey.
Following the supplication of Moses the Almighty (as understood by the Sages, see Rashi) agreed that henceforth Divine Inspiration (i.e. Prophecy would not be given to anyone who was not an Israelite.
ExodusÂ (NIV) 33:
15 Then Moses said to him, 'If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?'
17 And the LORD said to Moses, 'I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.'
The Almighty LORD God of Israel appeared unto Moses and described some of HIS qulaities:
Exodus (JPS Tanakh 1917) 34:
5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed: 'The LORD, the LORD, God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; 7 keeping mercy unto the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin; and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and unto the fourth generation.'
According to tradition it is here being stated that God rewards they who have done good in their lives for a thousand generations. They who have done evil are punished for 3 or 4 generations IF they do not repent. This means that if they keep sinning not only will they be punished for their sins but also in part for the offences of their forefathers. For most people this involves a mixture of reward and punishment being meted out.
For more concerning subjects mentioned in this Portion see: